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Prom-Goers Plan Alternatives to Alcohol

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ROCKY MOUNT — Since many students will be taking to thestreets for prom nights over the next few weeks, some schools are tryingdifferent events to make sure their students will not drink and drive thisyear. One Edgecombe County school has called on the grim reaper to remindstudents about the deadly consequences of drunk driving.

At Southwest Edgecombe High, 40 students have volunteered participatein Grim Reaper Day, wearing black, spending an entire school day without talking, and carrying papertombstones that read 'rest in peace'. The symbolism is frightening, butschool officials say it should be. Nationally, about 170 students dieduring prom week from alcohol-related accidents.

Student Toria Armstrong says the ghastly symbol sends a seriousmessage.

It did happen to student Scott Fleming in January of 1996. He washit by a drunk driver and is still scarred, and scared, from theaccident. Fleming says he wantsto get the message across that a deadly accident can happen to anyone.

Fleming has taken an active role as president of Students Against DrunkDriving (SADD), one of the groups responsible for Grim Reaper Day.

Southwest Edgecombe High's prom is scheduled for this Saturday. GrimReaper Day organizer Denice Tompkins says this sinister reminder couldsave a life.

Grim Reaper Day is part of a series of events held this month todiscourage students from drinking and driving, not just on prom night, butevery night.

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